December 4, 2021

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What happens if the human body goes into a "space vacuum"?

What happens if the human body goes into a “space vacuum”?

The effect of such an accident does not look like Hollywood movies, usually showing unprotected persons in helmets or space suits instantly exploding or freezing.

But really, the moving effects are inside The emptiness of space It’s more like Hollywood movies show, but exaggerated. An astronaut floating in space without clothing cannot survive, but his death does not occur in minutes or seconds.

Space is an airless vacuum, i.e., unlike Earth, it has no atmosphere and is not pressurized by air molecules.

Atmospheric pressure determines the temperature at which liquids boil and turn into gases. As at sea level on Earth, when the pressure exerted by the air outside the liquid is high, gas bubbles form and it is difficult for it to rise to the surface and exit.

But since there is almost no atmospheric pressure in space, the boiling point of the liquids decreases dramatically.

Dr. Chris Leanhardt, an operational astronaut American Space Agency NASA told LiveScience: “About 60 percent of the human body is made up of water, which is a serious problem.”

“When there is no pressure, the liquid water in our body boils, instantly turns from liquid to gas, and all the body tissues that contain water expand,” he adds.

“No man can live with this,” Leanhardt said. “Death is possible within two minutes.” Some have already had accidents like this and survived to tell the story.

In 1966, NASA space engineer Jim Leplong helped test the performance of space suit models in a large vacuum chamber.

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At one point during the test, the compressed air duct in his suit was severed.

“When I stumbled back, saliva bubbles on my tongue and I could feel it boiling before I left,” he says of the incident.

Gas bubbles in body fluids also occur when immersed in deep water, which changes very quickly from a high-pressure underwater environment to a low pressure at the water surface.

For astronauts, blood flowing through the veins boils faster than water in tissues because the system Blood flow It has its own internal pressure.